N.W.A.’s MC Ren Calls Gene Simmons + KISS ‘A Gimmick’
During N.W.A.'s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the hip-hop icons took a shot at KISS legend Gene Simmons for his opposition to rap and hip-hop. The two sides initially went back and forth following the ceremony and the squabble has picked up again with MC Ren's latest comments.
“That dude is real arrogant," MC Ren said to Rolling Stone, adding, "It’s like, how he’s looking at us, how he know that people before him in rock & roll don’t look at him like that? How he know the Beatles or Muddy Waters, if he was still around, don’t look at him as a gimmick?" Taking aim at Simmons' stage costume, he continued, "Who is he to say anything if he’s wearing makeup and heels and sticking out his tongue every 10 seconds of his show? Come on, man, that’s a gimmick.”
Simmons has been adamant that N.W.A. do not belong in the Rock Hall, responding to the band's acceptance speech by stating, “Respectfully– let me know when Jimi Hendrix gets into the hip hop hall of fame. Then you’ll have a point.” Ren was not keen on Simmons trying to play judge and jury, going on to say, “What if Paul McCartney said, ‘You shouldn’t be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?’ What if the Rolling Stones said, ‘Y’all shouldn’t be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,’ how would he feel then? He would look stupid. If you asked around and you asked enough rock 'n' roll greats, them dudes is a joke."
Offering an explanation on behalf of Simmons as to why the bassist has been so outspoken, Ren said, "He’s probably so salty because hip-hop groups got in before he did, like Run-DMC, Beastie Boys, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and Public Enemy. I think he was mad they got in before he did, but that’s what it is. And, Im’ma tell you this right now, you can quote this: ‘F--k tha Police’ is way more rock & roll than ‘I want to rock 'n' roll all night and party every day.’ Come on, man.”
Seemingly ready to put an end to the whole ordeal, Ren concluded, "Hip-hop is here to stay, man. For real. You need to just get used to that. He don't have a choice, man. And they ain't gonna kick us out of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because he says so. You don't own the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."
N.W.A. called out Simmons during their induction ceremony after the icon had stated to Rolling Stone he was "looking forward to the death of rap" and slammed the genre on the whole when he said, “I’m looking forward to music coming back to lyrics and melody, instead of just talking." He also stated, "Rap will die. Next year, 10 years from now, at some point and then something else will come along. And all that is good and healthy."
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